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Live Well Bolsters HECM Platform

Live Well Financial has made some moves that boost its position in the home-equity conversion mortgage securities market.

The Richmond, Va.-based lender announced Wednesday that it acquired a bulk portfolio of Ginnie Mae-guaranteed bonds.

GNMA HREMIC Securities with $531 million in notional balances were acquired from an unidentified seller as part of the transaction.

The deal settled in August.

Live Well additionally said it has hired a New York-based group from Stifel Financial’s HECM trading desk to manage the portfolio.

The new team includes Darren Stumberger, executive vice president; Ernie Calabrese, senior vice president; and Dan Foster, vice president. The team is joining Live Well this month.

“Given the group’s extensive capital markets experience, the Live Well trading desk will manage, structure and invest in government-guaranteed mortgage-backed securities,” Live Well Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Michael Hild said in the announcement. “Additionally, the team will be integral in creating new avenues of profitability for our company, as well as branding the franchise with the institutional investor base.”

Live Well expects the moves will help it achieve greater economic optimization and competitiveness in both the reverse market and traditional loan market for its retail, wholesale and correspondent channels.

“This is a natural time in the cycle to build infrastructure and extract a greater amount of value from mortgage originations,” Stumberger stated.

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